SOC 346 - Sociology of the Body
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Sociology (SOC)
Department: LSA Sociology
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
One introductory course in Sociology or Women's Studies.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The purpose of this course is to explore how our bodies have been named, identified, perceived, interpreted, and represented throughout history, particularly the history of the West from the 19th century onwards. We will explore scholarly and not-so-scholarly concepts, theories, and insights about different bodies in American culture and society. While discussing the body and its implications for personal and social life; we will find ourselves struggling with issues of identity, justice, citizenship, class, race, gender, sexuality, disability, and other related and interconnected concerns. It is only recently that scholars have “discovered” the body. Its discovery is linked to the emergence of the social body of modern science and industrial, capitalist society. Since then, the body has become the contested arena of heated debates concerning sex and desire, gender and race, labor and reproduction. Much of this debate has been sparked by socially subordinated groups, who are resisting ideologies and practices that discriminate on the basis of corporeal differences. We will examine the bodies of the past, the gendered bodies of women and men and the ‘racialized’ bodies of people of color. We will also explore the hungry bodies of the obese and the anorexic, the hard bodies of body-builders and the leaking soft bodies of menstruating women, the veiled and naked bodies, the bodies of transsexuals and the intersex, as well as the impersonating bodies of drag kings and queens. We will end the course with sections on surgical, mutilated, castrated, and cut bodies as well as the fragmented bodies of those veterans wounded in wars. The course is structured so that it evokes reflection, discussion, and responses that could lead to new understanding of our society and our own bodies. Throughout the course, we will assess the impact of those issues on our private lives and life of society. It is my hope that all of us will gain a greater understanding of the sociological perspective, develop critical thinking, and enhance our personal growth. The manner in which we explore, discuss and analyze this controversial topic should create a pedagogic environment that fosters diversity, team work, and encourages more profound thinking on our own social and personal values.

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SOC 346 - Sociology of the Body
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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